Six properties could benefit from not paying the town’s portion of their property taxes, Creston town council decided on Oct. 11.
A permissive tax exemption bylaw will be introduced to allow the owners to direct more funds into their not-for-profit services. That bylaw must be passed before the end of October, director of finance and corporate services Steffan Klassen said.
Applications for exemptions for the properties were all made in 2011 and would be in addition to the list of properties already covered under the current bylaw. The exemptions would carry through until 2013 unless use of the properties was changed.
“These services all fall within the town’s priorities,” Klassen told town council.
If all six properties are exempted, the cost to the town would be about $9,000, which equates to about 0.17 per cent of the town budget.
“That would make a total of 1.8 per cent of our budget would be paid by other taxpayers to make up for all exemptions,” he said. “It does eventually add up — it’s like taking a forced donation from taxpayers. But it also allows council to say, ‘We’ve given at the office,’ when it gets requests for grants-in-aid and other funds from these organizations.”
Properties being considered include:
•1913 Cook St., where Creston New Life Christian Church operates a thrift shop;
•116 Northwest Blvd., where Kootenai Community Centre Society (KCCS) operates New Life Furniture and Recycling, profits from which help pay for its services;
•130 Eighth Ave. S., where KCCS operates Teddy Bear Day Care. In the past, only the building has been tax-exempt, and not the land;
•1230 Cook St., where KCCS offers youth activities and Prince Charles Secondary School operates a storefront school;
•A room in the basement of 1230 Canyon St., or Creston Place, which accommodates the Creston Judo Club, which guarantees no child will be turned away from participating if their family can’t afford membership fees; and
•221 11th Ave. N., leased by the Sasquatch Arts and Music Society for public entertainment events. The exemption would be contingent on the society producing a certificate of incorporation and a lease through 2013.